Saturday, June 28, 2008

A Farewell to the Tree that was on Our Property but Fell on Theirs, and a Further Farewell to the Insurance Company That Wouldn't Cover It

I'll miss you most of all, stump. You never hurt nobody. When the rest of the tree was all, "Let's fall on their roof!" You was all, "I think I'll stay in the ground and mind my own business." Would have kept you around but the workmen said it was nothing extra to have you hauled away with the trunk. That's fuzzy logic, having an innocent bystander carted off with the criminals just because it's free, but honestly looking at you brought back a lot of bad memories. Actually, just one - the time I had to pay five hundred bucks because my tree fell on somebody else's fucking house.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: Hot House Honey

[GRUFF STOVER sits on one side of the booth in camo gear with a sniper rifle over one shoulder; DARKLOSS SOULRIPPER VON ALUCARDIA sits across from GRUFF in Renaissance-era clothing and a massive, puffy cape; GARY sits next to DARKLOSS, almost falling out of the booth thanks to the cape. GRUFF is making a point and waving his fork.]

Gruff: She's a hot house flower. Won't last in the real world.
Gary: What the Hell is that?
Darkloss: The analogy of the hot house flower is something or someone who can't survive outside a special environment. The flower can't thrive in the wild. It will wilt. It's not really strong in humanless nature. Same goes for certain people, especially the innocent and naïve. They either change or die in the real world. There's no defense for them. They have to change.
Gary: We build a Hell of a lot of hot houses, don't we?
Gruff: Yeah, but--
Gary: If we do it for flowers we like, shouldn't we shell out for decent people?
Gruff: It's not a matter of money.
Darkloss: Then what?
Gary: Just be nice to them? That seems easier than building green houses. And I like nice people better than flowers. In fact, they're kind of the people I buy flowers for.
Darkloss: Them, and the really naughty people.
Gary: Can we grow those in greenhouses, too?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: The P.P.G.

The Pantheon Poker Group meets every third Thursday. They wanted to do it on Wednesdays, but Odin claimed some sort of holiday, and he gets his way since he provides the hall. Sometimes they put off poker altogether and get drunk on the rainbow bridge, but mostly they play. Apollo is in because he's the god of poker (according to him, anyway). Obatala always sits in to complain – a would-be creator god never gets over those cosmic blue balls.

Complaining is as much a part of the deal as the dealer, because poker is a crutch for the Pantheon Poker Group. It's a means to converse without their respective worshipers going to war. In the case of poker only little chips need to be sacrificed, and if those mattered at all the game would be canceled on account of Raven’s perpetual cheating. Yet Odin is fond of Raven – he likes that type of bird and that type of deity, even if Raven refuses to fly himself and demanded first class airfare to the game. Apollo always springs for the airfare since he was the first to claim being god of Apollo's newest divine franchises make up most of his chatter.

Odin likes to talk about what’s on TV, or how there should be more positive one-eyed characters in modern media. It’s humble, fraternal chat laced with the vernacular swears of three continents, becoming more voluminous as the night goes, on and Apollo and Odin argue whether the Norselands were on a separate continent from Europe. The drunker you are, the more confusing continental shelves become. When the discussion gets violent, Raven calls a random Celt for an unbiased opinion. The resulting opinion is always disqualified on value of it coming from yet another European aisle. Raven calls anyway. Two lords of the sky arguing technicalities always cracks the group up. Then Obatala opines how he would have made the islands part of the continent if only he’d gotten the job of creating the world. And while Odin and Apollo try to shut him up and console his highly intelligent design of the human body, Raven comes up with a royal straight flush.

Why, it must have been a miracle.

They’d pluck and cook him if it mattered, but the game is about the chatter, and the company.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: Hole in One

He is The Pro, the most annoying fencer alive. Even apostates pray they don’t get killed by this pretentious asshole; even in death, they’d never live it down. He has fencing gloves, a customized mask, and always wears the newest athletic shoes. He carries a golf bag full of swords, each fitted to his grip, cast in titanium, optimized for the proper swing: a fencing foil, a rapier, a cutlass, a scimitar, a katana, and his “driver,” a claymore. I say, “he carries” quite loosely because, really, it’s his caddy that carries it. He employs an orphan as his caddy, since they don’t complain. If they get mouthy, he ditches them and buys a new one. The Pro jokes he should start buying them in bulk.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: Seven Crystal Stars

Okay, if I had to scatter seven sacred relics to prevent some mastermind from collecting them and ruling the world, I wouldn’t stash them in seven really obvious huge dungeons. Firstly, those don’t exist. Secondly, it makes them very easy for him to find. After about the third dungeon this supervillain is bound to realize where the other four are.

1) The first one goes down the Mariana Trench. It’s the deepest hole in the known world, under so many atmospheres of water that it would kill anyone who tried to reach it. In fact, we’ve barely explored the place with robotics. A tiny crystal star would be darn near impossible to find in that abyss.
2) Drop one of them into the cement foundation of a Parliament building, preferably deep into it. You would thus have to demolish a government building and clear all the rubble just to look for it, and even then you probably wouldn’t have destroyed the foundations holding it. We also get free security, as a Parliament building should have a lot of that lying around.
3) To be a total dick, I’ll stow one of them on the next space probe headed for the outer reaches of the universe. It’s cheap, but considering this explorer pod is headed further out into space than we’ll probably ever send humans, it will be really hard to retrieve.
4) In the middle of the arctic storm zones, where despite global warming there is a constant subzero blizzard with zero visibility. Preferably we’ll drill a hundred-foot hole in the ice and drop it down there, then cover it up. Within minutes you’ll have no idea where we drilled the hole in all the hundreds of miles of tempestuous storm.
5) In classic Lord of the Rings fashion, we’ll drop one into the mouth of an active volcano. True, the indestructible relic won’t combust like Sauron’s jewelry, but hopefully it will sink a miles under the surface of the earth, cradled in boiling lava. Most volcanoes don’t erupt like a geyser, but spit up and drool down the slopes. However this hot lava will be lighter and flow easier than the relic, so it will be more likely to sink while the lava rises. If the sucker ever erupts so badly that the relic is coughed up, it will be hidden in the cooling magma, and even we won’t know where it is.
6) Drop the sixth into the deepest stretch of the wide Yangtze in China, a river so horribly polluted that humans won’t enter it, and all the wildlife has either died out or mutated. We’ll weight this relic down in a tungsten container that will be too thick to fully corrode, and dig into the riverbed. Maybe we’ll even attached a self-propelling drill to the bottom so that it can dig a huge hole behind it. With a few days of current you won’t be able to see where it went down. That is, if you could see in the Yangtze.
7) One I’m just going to bury somewhere. It will be a chaotically chosen spot of no importance. Not a national park or a wonder of the world. I’m just going to bury out in the middle of nowhere.

In the mean time, let’s go build some huge dungeons as decoys. Perhaps one can have an exact replica of one of the relics to fool the bastard.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: Came for the Sand

Our family vacationed in Egypt this year. The kids were excited for the Sphinx and the Nile up until they realized “bazaar” is foreign for “elaborate gift shop,” at which point it was a pain to get them to go anywhere but the souvenir stands.

Such is the way of children, but Uncle Frank was even worse. Some men stare into the eyes of the Sphinx, but he glared. He wouldn’t climb the pyramids with us, even after I explained how much this spiritual privilege was costing. He wouldn’t even look at them. Just sulked and trudged around the outskirts, mostly in the shade.

“Did you really fly all this way to look away from one of the wonders of the world?” I asked.

He spat, “It’s not a wonder of the world. It’s a testament to slavery. I didn’t come to see what thousands of servants died to build. I came to see some of the sand they walked on, is all.”

I’m not sure who was angrier, the grandparents or the tour guide. Neither minded when the local water gave him violent diarrhea and forced him to miss a museum trip. He probably would have complained about the mummies on display.

We returned to the hotel to find him chugging electrolyte drinks and claiming that this visit had kindled a love of his heritage, which apparently ran through every oppressed North African people known to human history.

He’s the most militant minority I know. And Uncle Frank’s white.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: Sixth Senses, OR, “We know prior to birth that we will have only five physical senses.” –Robert Schwartz, Courageous Souls

-Sense of sight
-Sense of touch
-Sense of hunger/fullness
-Sense of distances and sizes
-Sense of smell
-Sense of balance
-Sense of breathing/inhaling/exhaling
-Sense of taste
-Sense of sound/hearing
-Sense of internal pressures (bowels, bladder, etc.)
-Sense of fatigue/drowsiness
-Sense of cognition, what you're thinking and how to control your thoughts
-Sense of emotion
-Sense of time (enormously faulty)
-Sense of amounts/numbers

Know any other senses? Please illuminate me in the Comments section.
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